paramount and director michael bay have maintained that the movie is apolitical, but a campaign aimed largely at the right-leaning audience indicates they know the film will appeal to the red states.
“the following post is sponsored by our partner, paramount pictures,” reads the message atop a blog item at national review online that introduces a trailer for 13 hours: secret soldiers of benghazi.
the post, from publisher jack fowler, reveals that he attended a screening of the paramount pictures movie shortly after christmas and, he tells his conservative audience, it’s “awesome.”
“i’ve seen it, and can’t wait to see it again, with my friends, and my sons,” he writes.
fowler declined to discuss the publication’s arrangement with paramount, though it is just one of many initiatives pursued by the studio to reach right-leaning moviegoers, including those who blame then-secretary of state hillary clinton and even president barack obama for the death of four americans in benghazi, libya, on sep. 11, 2012.
paramount, along with director michael bay and the other filmmakers, have maintained that 13 hours is apolitical, but a marketing campaign aimed largely at conservatives indicates they know what they have: a movie that will appeal to red states far more than blue ones. tracking, in fact, bears this out: prerelease surveys show the film has the least traction in liberal areas of the northeast and northwest.
'13 hours: the secret soldiers of benghazi': film review
even the film’s tuesday night premiere, held at at&t stadium (home of the dallas cowboys), seemed to be aimed at the right. beyond bay, star john krasinski and other castmembers, there were performances by the band perry, a country act, and madison rising, a patriotic group whose rendition of "the star-spangled banner" closes dinesh d’souza’s film america (which clearly targeted conservatives). about 32,000 people attended the premiere, and each was asked to donate $1 to a veteran’s charity with paramount promising to match the total collected.
“movies that honor the military, like lone survivor, definitely do better in texas, arizona and nevada than in san francisco and new york,” paramount vice chairman rob moore tells the hollywood reporter. “this film has those same elements of military heroism — elements that appeal to a conservative audience.”
the same day as the premiere, townhall.com — owned by conservative talk-radio leader salem media — published an exclusive interview with krasinski that appeared alongside articles by such right-leaning pundits as ann coulter, michelle malkin and john stossel.
“the political nature of what’s happened has really overshadowed the human story of these six guys,” krasinski told townhall’s cortney o’brien in the three-minute video.
box-office preview: michael bay's benghazi movie '13 hours' could be politically divisive
salem radio personality (and gop debate moderator) hugh hewitt not only wrote about the film (he called it “simply and completely an indictment” of the incompetency of the obama administration) but will also have 13 hours producer erwin stoff on his show thursday. earlier, salem host dennis prager had on his show kris "tanto" paronto, one of the former cia contractors who fought in benghazi that night, and he called the film "very accurate."
paramount’s outreach includes buying time at fox news, where an ad for 13 hours appeared after the network’s coverage of obama’s state of the \union address on tuesday. another commercial will run on fox business network after the republican primary debate thursday night.
the studio also supplied fox news behind-the-scenes footage that host megyn kelly will use for a kelly file special set to air monday night on her top-rated show. prior to that, paramount arranged for kelly to interview three of the real-life heroes portrayed in the film: john “tig” tiegen, mark “oz” geist and paronto. “breaking tonight: a kelly file exclusive,” says the host, “onView all reviews on 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi